David’s Son - David’s Lord
“And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son? And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?”
Jesus asked the two questions above after he had confounded the religious leaders of his day by answering two of their questions in ways that completely amazed them. We know from the Scriptures that their questions were designed to entrap and embarrass him and that they had failed in their attempt. But why did Jesus ask his questions?
Let’s look at the questions themselves. Jesus was asking how Christ (the title that is the equivalent of the Old Testament “Messiah”) could be two seemingly mutually exclusive things. How could Christ be David’s son and, at the same time, David’s Lord? The word “son” in the passage above means a “male descendent”. The word “Lord” means “one who has supreme authority”. Since David was the king of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth he had no earthly authority above him. So who could this “Lord” be but God himself?
My understanding is that the great majority of orthodox Jews have historically believed, and currently believe, that the Messiah will be a very great leader, but not God in the flesh, and that he will restore the nation of Israel. If my understanding is correct, then the question that Jesus asked would have shaken the very foundation of the Jews’ concept of the Messiah.
Jesus often asked questions that were meant to reveal the fact that he was not only man but God in the flesh. The following are some examples.
“And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”
“Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.”
“And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?”
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And we know that the Son of God is come,
and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true,
and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.
This is the true God, and eternal life.
I John 5:20